Ojas customizes its Body in Bliss massage session to the needs of each individual client in order to drain the body's tree trunk of its stress sap. The massage technician will start by speaking with you about your aches, pains, and anxiety dreams and will then use that knowledge to set his or her hand phasers to "relax." From there, simply lie still and bliss out as your tensions are massaged, stroked, kneaded, and occasionally garotted away. Body in Bliss incorporates a serenity-enhancing blend of essential oils that massage the nose as much as the body and uses warm stones to stimulate circulation and draw deep-set tension out of the body's muscles, joints, and field of glandmines. You'll leave Ojas's premises with your muscular fibers singing as harmoniously as a barbershop quartet, instead of screeching like the lead singer in a Norwegian death-metal barbershop quartet.
After earning her Bikram yoga instructor certification from the practice's founder in 1999, Bikram Choudhury, studio director Sarah Ittmann traveled the world teaching the 26-posture practice throughout the United States, Canada, England, and Ireland. Now settled in Baltimore, Sarah, her husband Henri, and their team of certified Bikram teachers host daily classes in a 2,000-square-foot space.
Since the hot temperatures—which hover around the 100-degree mark—incite healthy sweating and detoxification, staffers regularly steam-wash the antimicrobial, nonslip floor to keep the studio as clean as Mr. Bubble's standup routine. They also provide men's and women's locker rooms equipped with showers, toiletries, and hair-dryers.
At the age of 14, Baltimore Yoga Village founder Anjali Sunita traveled to India, where she discovered the joys of simple living mixed with the sorrows of yearning for a greater purpose. After years of expanding her education and worldview through reading and the guidance of a college mentor, Anjali found peace within the rigid discipline and spiritual focus of a South Indian ashram. Soon setting her mind to sharing the physical and mental benefits of yoga with others, she taught in private homes and underserved schools before opening her own pair of studios known collectively as Baltimore Yoga Village.
There, a team of certified yoga instructors oversees a supportive community dedicated to peace, health, and spiritual growth. Whereas many studios’ teachers spend too much time teaching students to knit their own mats, Baltimore Yoga Village’s programs focus on the ancient practice of Hatha yoga, which includes deep breathing techniques, yoga postures with attention to physical alignment, and guided relaxation. The staff also leads regular workshops in a variety of topics, from Thai-yoga bodywork to meditation through devotional songs.
Inside a practice space heated between 80 and 90 degrees, yogis Michele and Sean guide students of all ages and experience levels through the reinvigorating poses of Vinyasa power yoga. During up to two classes per day, the instructors help pupils master the style's breathing techniques and synchronized postures, which transition seamlessly into one another, much like a month of video-game playing leads to a Cheetos addiction. The heated room coaxes muscles into sinking into deeper stretches for increased flexibility and detoxifies bodies via sweat. A stock of free rental mats cushions guests throughout the session, and a free introductory course for new students allows novices to sample the Vinyasa style every Thursday night.
Charm City's founder Kim Manfredi has instructed the Baltimore Ravens since 2004 and brings her 22 years of mat experience to courses that range from beginner-friendly Level 1 classes to advanced Level 3s. In beginner-yoga classes, a slow pace and careful verbal instructions impart the basics of breath awareness, mental concentration, and dodgeball mastery. Charm City’s signature Hot Vinyasa–style classes take place in 85- to 90-degree rooms, designed to loosen up ropey limbs to make stretches deeper, more effective, and more impressive to any inflexible invisible friends you may have. Other styles taught at Charm City include Ashtanga, which emphasizes dynamic postures, and prenatal yoga for those stretching for two.
For Bikram Yoga Baltimore's Emily and Eddie Garner, yoga isn't just exercise. It's a dance that purifies the body and silent song that stirs the soul. Drawing upon intensive study with Bikram yoga's founder and Emily's years of ballet training, the couple fills 90-minute classes with 26 graceful poses that stretch and strengthen the entire body. Heated rooms in Cockeysville and Harbor East loosen students' muscles, making them as pliable as a gymnast made entirely of pipe cleaners. Calibrated for both beginners and advanced students, the workout boosts circulation, which can help ease chronic pain and oust pent-up toxins. In addition to hosting classes, each studio rents mats and sells energy boosters such as vitamin-fortified water and Emergen-C supplements.
Awaken Wellness cares for its patrons' holistic health with a combination of alternative health services alongside a smorgasbord of yoga classes. The yoga studio's flexible schedule accommodates lunchtime wellness warriors, evening yogis, and gurus whose houses perch on the edge of space and time. Experienced teachers guide each class of about 18 students with a focus on community and human connection alongside careful instruction in the Hatha yoga tradition. Due to the small class sizes, each student receives individualized attention during sessions, allowing for instructors to correct form and provide adjustments for newer or more experienced students. The Gentle Yoga class leads pupils through a lower-impact routine that moves at a relaxed pace, while Yoga 2 concentrates on honing the skills of more experienced students by practicing alignment and delving into more challenging poses, such as the downward-facing Sunday crossword.